Popular Scottish Boy Names

We've put together a hand-picked selection of the best Scottish boy names - both traditional and contemporary, complete with meaning & origin whenever possible.

Of course you'll find Gaelic, Celtic and Olde English choices.

But there are others which reflect the languages and cultures of the varied countries who invaded Scotland over the centuries.

Some of the ones you'll see here are also well-known clan names.

Others are used interchangeably as first, or last, names. 

This is because of the way the naming culture developed in Scotland.

If you're interested in learning more about that, CLICK HERE (page will open in a new window).

Precious baby boy face with lipstick kiss marks

Time To Name That Baby!

Here are the cream of the crop, there's literally something for everyone :)

Below the chart you'll also find a list of the Top 20 Boys Names in Scotland for 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020 (compiled by, and courtesy of, the National Records of Scotland).

Baby boy sitting up in antique suitcase with various Scottish boy names around him


Origin & Meaning

Adair Gaelic
Meaning 'ford of the oaks' or 'oak grove'.
Ailbeart Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of Albert, meaning 'bright nobility'.
Alastair Gaelic
Scottish Gaelic form of Alexander, meaning 'defender' or 'defending man'.
Alban Gaelic
From 'Alba',the Gaelic name for Scotland. Meaning 'rock'.
Alexander Greek
Ancient name meaning 'defender' or 'defending man'. Made popular by Scottish kings, Alexander I, II and III.
Alpin Gaelic
Meaning 'white'.
Andrew Greek
Meaning 'a brave man'. St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland.
Angus Gaelic
Meaning 'unique choice'. Seen in Scotland as early as the 6th century.
Archibald Old German
Meaning either 'noble and bold', or 'bright gold'. Popular with Campbell clan members due to 12th century link. Also used as a surname.
Baldwin Old German
Meaning 'bold friend'.
Boyd Gaelic
Meaning 'blond' or 'yellow'. Also seen as a Scottish surname.
Bryce Celtic
Meaning 'pied' or 'speckled'.
Calum Gaelic
Meaning 'dove'. May be Gaelic derivative of Malcolm. Often spelled as 'Callum'.
Cameron Gaelic
Meaning 'crooked nose'. Dates back to at least the 15th century. Unisex name. Popular Scottish surname.
Campbell Gaelic
Meaning 'crooked mouth'. Also popular Scottish surname.
Cinead Gaelic
Meaning 'born of fire'.
Craig Gaelic
From Gaelic word 'creag' meaning' 'rock'. Recorded as early as 11th century. Also popular Scottish surname.
Diarmid Gaelic
From Irish Gaelic Diarmuid. Meaning 'without envy' or 'free man'.
Donald Gaelic
From Irish Gaelic 'Domhnall'. First seen in Scotland during 9th century. Meaning 'world mighty'.
Donnan Gaelic
Meaning 'brown'.
Douglas Gaelic
From Gaelic 'dubh' meaning 'black', and 'glas' meaning 'water'. Popular surname in Scotland. Unknown as forename before the 16th century.
Drummond Gaelic
From Gaelic 'drum' and 'onde', meaning 'high ground' or 'ridge'. Popular as surname.
Dougal Gaelic
From Gaelic 'dubh' for 'black' and 'gall' for 'stranger'. Meaning 'dark stranger'. Also seen as Dugal. Also seen as Scottish last name.
Duncan Gaelic
From Gaelic 'dun' - 'brown, and 'chadh' - 'warrior'. Meaning 'dark/brown warrior'. Seen in 11th century Kings Duncan I and Duncan II.
Eachann Gaelic
Meaning 'horse'.
Erskine Gaelic
From the Scottish Gaelic 'Ard Sescenn' meaning 'projecting height' or 'high marsh'. Popular Scottish last name.
Ethan Hebrew
Meaning 'strength' or 'long lived'
Ewan Celtic
Meaning 'born of the yew tree' or 'youth'. Also seen as Euan.
Fergus Gaelic
Ancient name, meaning 'man of strength' or 'brave chieftain'. Royal name in Pictish and Celtic society. Root of Scottish surname Ferguson.
Fingal Gaelic
Meaning 'white stranger'.
Finlay Gaelic
Meaning 'fair headed' or 'white warrior'.
Fraser Norman/French
Meaning 'strawberry bearer' or 'grower of strawberries'. Popular as surname in Scotland.
Gavin European
Meaning 'white hawk' or 'hawk man'. Popular during the middle ages.
Gordon Gaelic
From Gaelic 'gor-dun' meaning 'hill fort'.
Graham Olde English
From 'grand' - 'gravel' and 'ham' - 'home'. Meaning 'gravel home'. Popular as surname in Scotland.
Grant French
Meaning 'large or tall'. In French 'grand' means 'big'. Popular last name.
Gregor Greek
Meaning 'watchful' or 'vigilant'.
Hamilton Olde English
Meaning 'flat topped hill' or 'place of the hill'.
Hamish Gaelic
Gaelic form of James, meaning 'one of supplants'.
Hew Old German
Brought to Scotland by the Normans. Meaning 'heart, mind or spirit'. Now often seen as Hugh.
Iain Gaelic
Gaelic form of John, meaning 'God is gracious'.
Irvine Gaelic
Meaning 'green water'. Often used as surname.
James Roman
Meaning 'one who supplants'. Often seen in Scotland since 13th century. Popular with Scottish royals - there were 7 Scottish King James'. Also seen in Gaelic form as 'Hamish'.
Kennedy Gaelic
Meaning 'helmet wearer' or 'ugly headed'.
Lachlan Gaelic
Irish Gaelic originally. Meaning 'lake habitation'. Popular since 13th century, especially in the Scottish Highlands.
Leslie Gaelic
Meaning 'one who lives by the garden pool'. First seen in 11th century. Also seen as surname.
Lewis Old German
Meaning 'noted warrior'.
Malcolm Gaelic
From Gaelic 'maol calium' meaning 'follower of the dove' ie Saint Columba. Can also mean 'man of Columb'. Scottish Gaelic version is Calum.
Muir Gaelic
Meaning 'sea warrior'. Also popular last name.
Mungo Celtic
Ancient name meaning 'dear one' or 'beloved'.
Owen Gaelic
Irish Gaelic originally. Meaning 'well born' or 'born to nobility'. Goes back to the time of the Picts in Scotland.
Raibert Old German
Meaning 'bright flame'. Brought to Scotland by the Normans.
Rory Gaelic
Ancient name. From the Gaelic 'ruadh' - 'red' and 'ri'- 'king'. Meaning 'red king'. Popular with Highland clans.
Ross Gaelic
From the Gaelic 'ros' meaning 'headland'. Seen in Scotland since the 12th century.
Stuart Gaelic
From the Gaelic 'sti-weard', meaning 'a steward' or 'animal warden'. Also seen as Stewart. Very popular Scottish surname.
Tamhas Gaelic
Gaelic form of Thomas. Meaning 'twin'.
William Old German
Meaning 'strong protector'. Came to Scotland with the Normans in 11th century. Popular during the Middle Ages.

Top Scottish Boys Names - 2016 & 2017

To give you a little more help, here is a (provisional) list of the Top 20 most popular Scottish boys names for 2016 (according to the National Records of Scotland website)...

1. Jack

2. James

3. Oliver

4. Lewis

5. Logan

6. Harry

7. Noah

8. Leo

9. Charlie

10. Alexander

11. Jacob and Lucas (jointly held)

13. Harris

14. Mason

15. Alfie and Finlay (jointly held)

17. Ethan

18. Daniel

19. Aaron

20. Max

For more info. and stats on popular Scottish baby names in 2016, visit this page Babies First Names 2016

The Top 20 Scottish boy names for 2017 contains the majority of the same names as were there in 2016, but there are a couple of new faces and a lot of jostling for position!

1. Jack

2. Oliver

3. James

4. Lewis

5. Noah

6. Logan

7. Harris

8. Alexander

9. Leo

10. Harry

11. Alfie

12. Finlay

13. Jacob

14. Charlie

15. Aaron

16. Lucas

17. Mason (tied with Thomas)

17. Thomas (tied with Mason)

19. Archie* (New)

20. Rory* (New)

For 2019 we have a couple more new additions and we lose Mason and Aaron. It's interesting for me to note that there are always more 'tied' names in terms of placement for boys than for girls. No importance to that fact, just a random observation!

According to the National Records of Scotland these are the most popular boys names in Scotland for 2018:

1. Jack

2. James (tied with Oliver)

2. Oliver (tied with James)

4. Logan

5. Lewis

6. Leo

7. Alexander (tied with Harris)

7. Harris (tied with Alexander)

9. Rory

10. Noah

11. Lucas

12. Harry

13. Charlie

14. Thomas

15. Jacob

16. Alfie

17. Archie

18. Finlay

19. Max (New)

20. Finn (New)

If you'd like to take a look at the popularity of Scottish baby names over the past 40 years or so, check out this Baby Name Trends App. It's fun and free. 

Here are a few books that take a comprehensive look at Scottish baby names in general, if you don't see anything you love on this page they can help!

According to the registration information for babies born in Scotland during 2020, the most popular Scottish boys names list has seen some changes.

A traditional favorite, Lewis, has dropped down to sit in 15th place, and both Archie and Finlay have moved up into the top ten. As Archie only entered the top twenty in 2016, and Finlay jumped 12 places between 2019 and 2020, it would seem that they're hot names right now.

So, here are the top twenty boys names in Scotland in 2020 (see the full National Records of Scotland PDF report HERE)

1. Jack

2. Noah

3. James

4. Leo & Oliver (tied)

6. Harris

7. Rory

8. Alexander

9. Finlay

10. Archie

11. Lucas

12. Charlie

13. Alfie

14. Theo

15. Lewis

16. Finn

17. Brodie & Thomas (tied)

19. Mason

20. Jacob